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Sunday 15 September 2019

Full programme for 60th Opera Festival

16-DAY FESTIVAL DESPITE FUNDING CONCERNS

CONOR CULLEN

THE 60TH Wexford Opera Festival will again run over 16 days, opening on Friday, October 21 and running until Saturday, November 5, 2011, despite concerns over funding.

Details of the festival were announced yesterday (Tuesday) by Artistic Director David Agler and though Arts Council funding will not be announced until March, the festival remains confident that it won't be too badly hit this year.

Wexford Festival Opera is grant aided primarily by the Arts Council, but also Failte Ireland, and Wexford County and Borough Councils.

'We're confident we can deliver the programme we're announcing today,' a spokesperson said yesterday. Mr Agler was also in bullish form about their prospects.

'While the continued economic climate of Ireland no doubt has to be considered when programming the festival, I am still heartened by the spirit of the Festival, now celebrating its 60th Season and formed at a time when Ireland was also at a financial disadvantage. It didn't stop the founders then and it won't stop us now,' he said.

As is tradition, this year's three main stage productions are rarely-produced operas, although two of the three composers are well-known within the opera world and to Wexford's loyal audiences.

The three main operas will run in four cycles of 12 evening performances in total, with the ever-popular Gala Concert featuring as an exclusive event on one of the evenings.

With a greater demand for weekend performances, three weekdays during the 16 day festival will be without performances this year; Monday, October 24, Tuesday, October 25 and Tuesday, November 1.

'As is our custom, the season will contain three operas which, in our opinion, are neglected and need to be heard and seen,' said Mr Agler, now in his seventh season as Artistic Director of Wexford Festival Opera.

They are: ' La Cour de Celimene', by the composer of ' Mignon' and ' Hamlet', Ambroise Thomas; 'Maria', by the Polish composer Roman Statkowski, written in 1903; and ' Gianni di Parigi' by Gaetano Donizetti, which will mark the fifteenth time for one of his operas to form part of the Wexford Festival.

Full details of performance dates, cast and daytime programme will be announced prior to the commencement of priority booking for Friends of Wexford Festival Opera on May 3, with general booking opening on June 7.

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